Inmate Luis Rodriguez (Full Name: Luis Enrique Duron Rodriguez), of Goleta, Died At Santa Barbara County Jail

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (September 5, 2023) – An inmate identified as Luis Rodriguez, 37, has tragically died after being found unresponsive in his cell at Santa Barbara County Jail.

Santa Barbara County officials are saying that the incident began just after midnight on Sunday. Correctional officers found Luis Rodriguez unresponsive in his jail cell.

Custody and medical staff entered the cell and began life-saving measures which included CPR and the use of an AED machine. AED machines are designed to deliver an electric shock to restore a person’s normal heart rhythm.

Luis Rodriguez was transported to a local hospital where he later died. He was in a single observation cell due to medical concerns.

In particular, he was going through alcohol detox and was being checked by staff. A full investigation into the in-custody death of Luis Enrique Duron Rodriguez remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For In-Custody Deaths At Santa Barbara County Jail

Drug overdoses remain one of the leading causes of inmate death in the United States. According to National Public Radio, “Prisons and jails in the United States have been increasingly deadly places in recent years, according to new federal data. But one cause of death has climbed most dramatically: overdoses. From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose more than 600%.” It is also possible for an inmate to die from drug or alcohol withdrawal. There are a number of symptoms that may indicate an inmate may be going through alcohol withdrawal.

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

All inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes care for any pre-existing medical conditions an inmate may have prior to entering a jail. In particular, an inmate going through drug or alcohol withdrawal in California must receive “medical detoxification.” This is the process that systemically and safely allows people to withdrawal from drugs or alcohol under medical supervision. If a jail fails to give an inmate going through withdrawal proper care, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of steps that are involved in alcohol medical detoxification.

  • A thorough assessment by a medical professional should be conducted to determine the severity of a person’s dependence.
  • Medical staff should work to stabilize the patient. Medications such as diazepam or lorazepam may be used to reduce anxiety and prevent seizures.
  • Patients should have adequate hydration and nutrition to address any deficiencies.
  • Patients undergoing a detox should be properly supervised and monitored. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.
  • Patients will often need medication-assisted treatment to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Medications prescribed during this period may include naltrexone, acamprosate, or disulfiram.

It can be hard to know where to begin after any in-custody death. To make matters worse, jails are rarely transparent about inmates that die in their care. This is partly because a large portion of inmate deaths involve jail medical neglect. People in their 20’s or 30’s may not get the care they need in jail and die prematurely. The family of any person that died in-custody may be able to seek some measure of justice and accountability through a civil claim.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At Santa Barbara County Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Luis Rodriguez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There are so many questions that still need to be answered. It is our hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the Santa Barbara County Jail? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to helping inmates understand their rights and holding jails accountable for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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